Twitter was recently criticized by Meerkat’s founder Ben Rubin, who claimed that the micro-blogging company provided just two-hours’ notice before restricting the live-streaming app’s access to its users. Speaking with TechCrunch’s Josh Constine at Disrupt NY, Rubin said that a two-hours’ notice from Twitter to change the product “sucked.”
Twitter served a short notice
Not long after the release of Meerkat’s live-video app, Twitter bought live-video streaming company Periscope, and launched its beta service. Rubin also noted that Twitter did this to push users towards Periscope, which is a fair move on its part.
“You get this call and they say ‘hey, we really like the product but… by the rules you cannot use the graph in a competitive way and we just launched Periscope in a beta and we’re going to close it’,” Rubin said.
Furthermore, the CEO opposed the notion that two big live-streaming companies cannot survive in the market. In regard to this, he cited an example of one-to-many asynchronous services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. which are co-existing.
Meerkat, how it’s doing after Twitter?
Meerkat initially became hugely popular after Apple included the live-video app in its Best New App list. However, this fame was short-lived as the launch of Periscope by Twitter took the spotlight away from Rubin’s company. In addition, Apple also started endorsing Twitter-owned Periscope by featuring it into its list. Subsequently, Meerkat experienced a decline in its download rate and, at present, has around 2 million users.
Meerkat’s CEO also pointed out that in the area of ‘live streaming’, altering the type of content is the key to success for any company that provides such a service. That said, such a change is only applicable when the audience has been encouraged to take part in the content rather than just consume it. Recently, the company introduced an Emoji feature and is looking to introduce more such products in collaborative streaming.
As part of a recent development, Meerkat launched a developer platform and APIs, so that the third-party developers can build companion tools for the app. The company also aims to increase consumer participation in its content, which will result in people getting more emotionally attached to its services. Also, if the content produced is high-quality, people might be willing to pay more for it in the future.